The governing African National Congress (ANC ) in South Africa is to appeal gainst the court verdict banning the singing of the liberation song “shoot
the boer”. The case follows the controversial singing of the song by firebrand ANC youth leader Julius Malema.
The announcement was made by ANC Secretary General Gwede Mantashe on 9th September. The ANC leader told journalists in Johannesburg that, “The NEC re-affirmed its commitment to protect its heritage by appealing the court decision that bans our struggle song ‘ayesaba amagwala’.
A week ago, in his verdict in case brought by the Afrikaans AfriForum, Judge Colin Lamont declared some of the words of the song to be hate speech. His
verdict means that singing the words could lead to a contempt of court charge.
This was after ANC Youth League president Julius Malema sang the song in public following the death of the racist AWB leader Eugene Terreblanche.
The ANC Youth League has already announced that it would appeal against the judgement. The ANC’s national executive has now stepped in to add its weight, fearful of being outflanked by the radical and populist Malema.
The ANC would probably have preferred this to be quietly forgotten, but the very public positions taken by Malema – still awaiting the outcome of an ANC disciplinary case against him over his call to unseat the elected Khama government in Botswana – are forcing the ANC leadership to act or be seen by many young, black South Africans to be out of touch. This is the second time he
has been hauled before the leadership in the last 18 months – the last time for
his outright opposition to President Jacob Zuma. Malema had been a strong Zuma supporter, but is now seen as his possible nemesis.
Zuma and his supporters within the leadership havea long and tough battle on their hands for the soul of the movement ahead of next year’s ANC leadership elections – whic h are likely to decide whether or not Zuma can run for a second term in office as President as the ANC’s candidate.